A MOTOCROSS rider paralysed for life following a tragic accident during a race has achieved his target of being home for Christmas.
Carrbrook-raised Sean Vose defied the odds as he was discharged from hospital 14 weeks after the crash that severed his spinal chord and almost claimed his life.
Sean, who was a self-employed gas engineer, said: “When I was admitted to a spinal unit I was told I would not be home until my 30th birthday in February.
“I was determined it would be Christmas and one of my physios remarked that bikers are a different breed.”
Sean, in fact, was home almost a fortnight before Christmas which delighted him as it enabled him time to settle into a routine at home in Glenville Walk, Stalybridge, before the festivities.
The life-changing injuries mean Sean, partner Amy Woolstencroft and Sean’s six-year-old son Tommy will soon be moving to a specially-adapted bungalow in Ashton.
And he admitted it is going to be a “rollercoaster” as he adjusts to being paralysed from the chest downwards.
He added: “I am sure there will be bad days, but I am determined to keep a positive state of mind.
“I have to accept what happened and move on with my life. I am lucky I am still here to see Tommy grow up.”
Sean added he is lucky not have suffered a brain injury, something he attributes to always investing in a top-quality helmet.
“The helmet took a hard hit to one side and left me with a black eye. I have never bought a cheap helmet so that helped he,” he said.
When Sean was in the spinal unit he was visited by Michael Reynolds, another motocross rider paralysed following a crash.
He said: “Michael still races on a specially adapted bike and I would love to go back racing as motocross is all about adrenalin.
“I have been asked about playing wheelchair basketball, tennis or may be another Paralympic sport as not many young people are paralysed so these sports are looking for new players.”
Sean added he is undecided as he does not know how he would cope with the physical demands on his upper body as he had previously broken both collarbones and an elbow in previous crashes that have left those areas weak.
Sean, who was taken by air ambulance from Longnor Races to Royal Stoke University Hospital and later spent time in a spinal unit in Southport, admitted he is lucky to be alive.
“I was close to dying several times as I deteriorated when I was in a coma. Some of the nurses thought I wouldn’t make it and the only reason I did was because I was so fit,” he said.
Sean also learned he had a congenital birth defect as three vertebrae in his back were fused together.
“I was told I was a ticking timebomb and this could happen anytime, though my spine was severed below that point so I will never know if that contributed,” he said.
Sean, a former pupil at St Raphael’s and All Saints, Dukinfield, says he has no recollections of the crash.
“I remember starting the race and the next thing was waking up in hospital with my dad at my bedside which I couldn’t understand as he lives in Australia,” he continued.
Sean has been overwhelmed by the support he has received – motocross friend Nicci Cooper organised an appeal that has raised nearly £13,000.
That included £4,500 raised by Sean’s ex-partner Larissa who organised a pier to pier sponsored walk in Blackpool.
Sean has bought a specially adapted wheelchair at a cost of £4,500 and spent £2,500 adapting their new bungalow home.
Sean added he has received help from charities including Aspire, Back Up, Spinal Injuries Association and the Spinal User Action Group and says he would like to mentor other spinal injury victims and help them come to terms with their disabilities.
He also praised partner Amy who has quit her accountancy job to care for him, saying he would not have been home so soon but for her unwavering support.